June 10, 2008 05:00 ET

W3i Leads Innovation of Ad-Supported Installs, Achieves TRUSTe Certification

ST. CLOUD, MN--(Marketwire - June 10, 2008) - It was only a matter of time before the ad-supported business model found a new niche. First there were ad-supported web apps like Google Docs, which offers users a free web-based word processor and spreadsheet. Then came ad-supported software. Spiceworks grew to over 200,000 users in 12 months with revenue climbing 900% with their ad-supported IT Desktop software. In the UK, Blyk grew to over 100,000 members in six months with 29% response rates to ads with their free, ad-supported mobile network. The latest evolution in this quid pro quo business model is ad-supported installs.

With respect to trialware, on average only 2% of all downloads convert to software sales. This means a 98% loss of users for various reasons, and the opportunity to cash in through conversion is usually lost. But times are changing. Now there is a new ad-supported model that targets monetizing the last mile of the download process. Its flip side -- the install.

Case in point: A company marketing utility software, which is used to boost the performance of your PC, increased their monthly revenue approximately $27,500 on 33,000 downloads during its first month and is now averaging $0.97 per valid install over seven months. These results weren't necessarily due to higher trialware conversions, but because this utility software used an ad-supported install system called Install IQ™ developed by W3i, who markets free software to its network of over 15 million unique users each month, driving over 4 million downloads.

Here's how it works: Install IQ is a Windows-installation authoring tool similar to Wise and Install Shield, but uses proprietary installation technology. It is designed for software publishers to drive revenue from the download of any desktop application. Install IQ improves the monetization of installs by offering ads for high-demand, targeted software during the install process, such as games, browser toolbars, and desktop weather alerts. Revenue for the software publisher of the trialware is generated when a user agrees to accept bundled third-party software offered during the install process, like a browser toolbar or desktop weather alert. Install IQ also improves conversions of the publisher's trialware by offering more flexibility -- graphics and text, which can be optimized, branding throughout the process, and improved navigation. Software from various business verticals, including games, music, video, social networking, desktop, and utility have experienced increases in revenue.

"What we're seeing here is a very real window of growth opportunity for software publishers and marketers of software who want to drive additional revenue through monetizing software installs," said Robert Weber, Vice President of Business Development and Co-Founder of W3i, a provider of integrated desktop and mobile marketing solutions. "Ad-supported models work because consumers have found common ground with these makers of software. Consumers don't mind the ads as long as they get something of value in exchange. And as long as best practices in privacy are maintained, everybody is happy."

Maintaining best practices in privacy while offering consumers free software is part of W3i's eight-year heritage. Today, the Minnesota-based Internet company received an industry seal of approval from TRUSTe by successfully completing all the requirements for certification in their Trusted Download Program, an industry first.

"We'd like congratulate W3i on being the first company in its space to receive certification in our download program," said Fran Maier, executive director and president of TRUSTe. "As part of the TRUSTe community, W3i is committed to working with us to build trust in the networked world. We look forward to helping them remain ahead-of-the-curve in privacy and security developments."

"We are pleased to be the forerunner in our industry by receiving TRUSTe approval for our installation system," said Hayden Creque, Vice President & General Counsel of W3i. "Being certified ensures continual Internet compliance and demonstrates our commitment to a positive user experience through facilitating best practices in privacy."

Since using Install IQ for the installation of W3i's original content, valid install rates have increased by as much as 50% as well as increases in earnings per click rates in the 25% range, according to W3i. "Our success is proving that our proprietary install system creates meaningful revenue opportunities for software publishers that have yet to be realized when marketing to consumers," said Weber.

To learn more about Install IQ and W3i's Download Network, click here.

About W3i:

W3i, owner of and, delivers proven, integrated desktop marketing and mobile marketing solutions. With offers and services tested and optimized on over 15 million unique users each month and over 4 million downloads, W3i can increase your revenue from digital content or provide a receptive consumer base for customized, targeted marketing programs. Solutions include: software marketing for shareware and freeware, software bundling and ad-supported installations. To learn more about W3i, visit

About TRUSTe:

TRUSTe helps consumers and businesses identify trustworthy online organizations through its Web Privacy Seal, Email Privacy Seal and Trusted Download Programs. TRUSTe resolves thousands of individual privacy disputes each year. Founded in 1997, TRUSTe certifies more than 2,000 Web sites, including the major internet portals and leading brands such as AOL, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Intuit and eBay. To learn more, visit


Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Deborah Manthei
    Director of Marketing Communications
    W3i Holdings, LLC
    Email Contact
    Toll Free 877-257-7025